Partnerships in God’s Kingdom

‘Jesus said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats’ (Luke 5:4,6,7).

Wikipedia defines partnership as ‘an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.’ In Christian ministry terms, this would mean advancing mutual ministry interests to advance God’s kingdom. In the above text, Peter and those with him signalled (called) their partners in the other boat to come and help them in pulling the net. There is always need for partnership in ministry.

Importance of Partnership

Partnership is important for three main reasons:

  • To work towards a common vision
  • To carry out joint activities
  • To carry out an activity that may be extremely difficult for one organisation to carry out alone.

Mary T Lederleitner summed it up that ‘We partner and work with our brothers and sisters around the world for reasons far deeper than any specific ministry outcome or objective…’

Reasons for partnership

In building God’s Kingdom, the following form the basis and reasons why organisations partner in ministry.

1. God’s kingdom and the Great Commission are greater than one Church or organisation

This is a self-explanatory truth. God’s kingdom is the biggest Kingdom that needs to be built and established on earth. The ‘ends of the earth’ in the Great Commission cannot be reached by one church, organisation or ministry. No one organisation can be effective or can claim it can evangelise the whole world or meet all the vast and enormous ministry needs alone. As such, collaboration and partnership are needed.

2. Partnership brings the mutual joy of winning souls together

In the Luke 5 story, the Lord Jesus needed a partner, Peter. Peter on the other hand signalled for partners in the other boats to come and take part in pulling the net! It is a joy when our joint collaboration and partnership results in winning souls for Christ.

Luke and Mark mention three types of partners:

  • Net directing partners: The Lord Jesus in Luke’s story is this type of partner. A discerning and visionary partner who could figure out and guides to where the net should be cast ‘for a catch’. This type of partner saves effort and time from being wasted. They, like the children of Issachar, know what to do in the right time, in the right place, in the right way (1 Chronicles 12:32).
  • Net-casting and net-pulling partners: Peter casted the net and he signalled to his partners in the other boats to come and pull the net with him. Mark says ‘Jesus saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net…’ (Mark 1:16). Who are the net-casting and net-pulling partners? These are the evangelists who preach God’s word and pull the net in a pulpit call for sinners to receive Christ. We need these frontline evangelism partners!
  • Net-preparing partners: Mark in his gospel also mentioned this type of partners. ‘He (Jesus) saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets’ (Mark 1:19). Clearly, these are partners behind the scenes supporting evangelists financially and prayerfully. When evangelists travel to cast the net, we don’t normally know the people who gave the money for their air ticket, hotel accommodation, and their personal needs. Some people behind the scenes are ‘preparing’ the financial net and ‘interceding’ for them that the word they preach be anointed.

With all these three partners and others collaborating, God’s kingdom is built. I believe it was a great joy that day when the partners in the two boats joined hands in harvesting the fish.

3. Partnership brings greater blessing to the partners:

There is a blessing in partnership! We know from Luke’s story that the partners in the two boats were both blessed when they joined hands. ‘The two boats were both filled.’ This is a big lesson we all need to learn. God blesses and honours collaboration. God will bless individuals and ministries that are willing to partner and collaborate with other ministries. Their boats will also be filled.

4. Partnership is an acknowledgement of each other’s calling, giftings and ministry

Mother Teresa has said: ‘You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.’ Why did Peter call his partners in the other boats? There were people in the other boats with gifts, skills and calling in pulling nets that he might not have. This is another good and strong reason to collaborate. There are organisations and brothers and sisters in the body of Christ with gifts, talents, capacity and calling we might not have.

5. Partnership reveals the truth about our hearts

Human beings have the selfish tendency to build their own kingdoms and ‘protectorates’ they do not want invaded by others. This makes people insecure and suspicious when it comes to building partnerships. Will they not become more dominant, influential, and known than us? Mark tells us how the flesh with its competitive and jealous nature came to surface among the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ!

‘”Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”’ (Mark 9:38). The Lord had to intervene and correct things. Partnership cannot live in one room with competition and jealousy. The right attitude in ministry should be:

  • Cooperation not competition
  • Complement rather than fighting for territories
  • Having the big picture of God’s kingdom in perspective rather than individual myopic view

Let’s put our hands together and partner for God’s glory.

Alex Bolek is ICMDA Coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa and Regional Secretary for East Africa  


  1. John Malow on 21 November 2022 at 7:13 pm

    Glory be to God!
    It’s amazing.

    I am very inspired by these brilliant presentation, about the net partners.

    Yes we are!
    Unto God all the glory.

  2. Rt Rev Peter on 24 November 2022 at 9:21 am

    Dear Alex

    Christian greetings to you all in the name of our Lord and savor Jesus Christ .am glad to have this wonderful information ,I would like the Diocese of Tonj to partner with your office I like the way Peter with Jesus on board traveling and help one another it bless me so much .
    Am really interested in this partnership kindly let us be connected , the Diocese of Tonj in south Sudan is a new Diocese and we need more pastors ,laypeople training for discipleship ,leadership training that will help my people thanks
    Bishop Peter Yuol Gur Tonj Diocese

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